Mentoring Matters for Superintendents: October 2015

Leadership-life Fit:

Six limit-setting strategies to support your pursuit of a better leadership life fit!

Leading Learning—Having Hard Conversations:

Add this process and these tools to your repertoire to support you in engaging in the hard conversations you need to have.

The slide share complements the following resources and tools created from Jennifer Abrams’ book Having Hard Conversations.

Prepping the Conversation

Having Hard Conversations template

Tech Savvy –Providing a Safe Learning Environment

Van Meter superintendent Deron Durflinger offers 3 key components in for “balancing student empowerment with online safety” in his article published in this month’s School Administrator.

1.Start with a purpose.

Deron encourages school leaders to be clear about why it’s important for students to access web-based resources. The Van Meter vision is “to empower students to be learners who communicate, collaborate, create and innovate, solve problems, adapt, think globally, live ethically and persist.” The role of educators in helping students “navigate the digital world appropriately” aligns directly to the district’s vision.

2.Teach for today.

Our students live in a technology-enhanced world; consequently, we should encourage and support our staff to leverage the technology tools at the fingertips of our students.

3.Embrace mistakes.

Inevitably, students will make poor choices in their use of technology. Such mistakes provide rich learning opportunities. Furthermore, expecting and trusting our students to make good decisions contributes to positive growth and development while enriching school culture and climate.

Deron posits: Would you want to go to school in your district?

Reflective Questions

  1. Why do you want students to have access to online resources in your district?
  2. What is the rationale for your technology policy and guidelines?
  3. What is the alignment between your technology policy and your vision statement?
  4. What are the expectations in your district for technology use by students?
  5. What patterns of abuse have you noticed, if any? How are you addressing those?
  6. How do you approach online safety?
  7. How do students and staff feel about access to the Internet in your school?

Avoiding the Classic Mistakes of a New Superintendent:

Watch this quick PowToons video to see the most common mistakes made by new superintendents and how you can avoid them.

The article from which the PowToons was designed can be accessed here.

Monthly Checklist:

These lists are intended as a guide and are likely not all-inclusive! Process in your mentor-mentee team to identify other items that need to be addressed.